Farm sector to grow 2.6%; Q3 GDP figure exaggerated: Goldman

Farm sector to grow 2.6%; Q3 GDP figure exaggerated: Goldman

New Delhi: The slump in the agriculture growth during the third quarter “exaggerates" the slowdown in the sector, which may grow at 2.6% this fiscal, according to a report by global financial firm Goldman Sachs.

“Although we expect agricultural growth to be 2.6% y-o-y in 2008-09, lower than the 4.9% in 2007-08, we think the third quarter agricultural data exaggerates the extent of slowdown," the report said.

The growth of the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors fell to minus 2.2% in the third quarter of this fiscal compared with 6.9% in the year-ago period.

Goldman’s projection about the farm sector’s growth in 2008-09 coincides with the estimate of a 2.6% expansion rate by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO).

However, the reason behind the exaggeration in the dip in the farm sector growth seems to be high base (6.9% in the comparable period last fiscal), Goldman said.

While releasing the growth figures, the CSO attributed the fall in the production of coarse cereals, pulses, cotton, oilseeds and sugarcane during the kharif season of 2008-09, as mentioned in the second advance estimate, to the slump in the farm sector performance, even as rice output saw some growth.

Agriculture Secretary T Nanda Kumar had said: “We are sticking to the 2.6% growth rate projected by the CSO for the entire 2008-09 fiscal as of now."